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paul ryan would switch off the lights for millions of americans. thanks so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. prime time, joe. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in center college in danville, kentucky, site of tonight's vice presidential debate. let me start with this. it's fairly well-known how frustrated a lot of us, you, me, as i said a lot of us, are at what happened in the first debate last week. it's come to me with this election is about and what that first meeting between the president and his challenger was not about. the differences between these two men is grand canyon sized, grand canyon sized. the president led the creation of the national health insurance program, governor romney said this week again he would dump
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obama's health care plan and send the 40 million suddenly uninsured into the emergency room letting them sit there. the romney/ryan team has other plans in place of medicare which covers people who have retired, it would offer them vouchers. vouchers. imagine some 80-year-old to get on that bus somewhere and go try to find someone to sell them a health insurance policy. good luck, granny. that's not the whole of it. listen to romney when you're not supposed to be listen pentagon the best time to listen to him is when he doesn't think you're listening. saying they have simply failed to take personal responsibility for their lives. nice talk. listen to romney say out loud if you have a pre-existing medical condition and don't have insurance, well, that's your problem because that was your decision. that's how he talks. the same with the automobile industry. romney -- obama stuck his neck out to rescue it for all kinds of good reasons. his challenger said let it take bankruptcy. these are the drastic differences these debates should
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debate and they better do it. i'm joined by john heilemann, former rnc chair michael steele, my kind of republican. that will kill them. and politico's j. mar, jonathan mart martin. biden, first of all for the opposition, you're on defense, michael. >> always on defense. >> what does mr. ryan have to do to fend off the older, perhaps more seasoned veterans tonight? >> i think what he has to do is not get down in the weeds of the numbers but take those numbers and translate them into real people, real stories out there, very much as you saw romney do at the beginning of the delate last time. it really set the tone for where he was going to go and how he was going to frame the discussion. so i think to the extent he can do that, it gets him in some good ground. >> does he have the ability to nail the guy on where the weedy decisions on vouchers, on person 45
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hood, on cuts of things like capital gains, and getting rid of estate taxes and lowering the top individual rate. all the wealth going to the top people, can biden nail him on that stuff? >> i did an interview with the vice president back in august and he hasn't done very many ser interviews. we talked about this thing. this is obviously before what happened in denver last week, but this is exactly what he was saying he was going to do. he was saying there's these stark differences between us and them, between me and paul ryan. i'm going to go up to him and i'm going to say -- i'm going to examine the implications of what his policy would say mean in the real lives of real people and i'm going to stand up to him and say, sir, on this and this and this and this you're dead wrong. he had already in his mind the absolute polar opposite stylistically than president obama did. >> do you think biden can handle that without getting into the weeds? >> that's going to be the challenge because both of them are fluent on policy.
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how do you keep it at 20,000 feet. i know from talking to ryan's advisers they want him, this not a health budget committee. >> it's not a mark up. >> stay away from that and talk about how the policies affect the lives of everyday people. if ryan can do that and make a case for why their policies going forward would be better he will have a good night. if biden can get ryan down into the weeds of is the tax cut plan $5 trillion or $3 trillion and how about entitlements, then biden will -- >> i have sort of a stupid person's guide to how i'm going to do it tonight. i'm going to be really dumb. i'm going to count the times i hear voucher in an hour and a half. if i hear it four or five times, i will say biden is doing pretty good. how many times the phrase personhood is used, two or three. it better come up. the phrase 47%. i'd like -- how about the word bankrupt automobile industry. >> auto. >> these phrases to me were what the president, michael, as a
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debater failed to do. bring up the topics because topics drives winners. if you're talking about the area the guy is embarrassed about, talking about something that makes you look good, you win. >> exactly. >> he didn't seem to win on that basis. >> he didn't win on that basis because the president was some place other than that debate. >> he was waiting for jim lehrer to bring it up and it's not the format. >> and i think john is exactly right in his conversation with the vice president, look, this is a man who spent his political career on the trains of america between delaware and washington, talking with real people, spending time in the neighborhood. >> he knows the conductors. >> he knows the conductors' names. that side of joe biden is what i expect to see. for ryan, he'd better be prepared to deal with that because you can be put off by that if you're, as jonathan -- >> suppose he does something like this. his mother lived to a great old age. we were at the funeral, she was a great lady. had a lot to do with his upbringing obviously. he might say my grandma finnegan, should they have gone out and bought health insurance with their vouchers?
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will he bring it down home? >> just remember, two things to remember. first of all, joe biden is the only one of all four of these candidates who flutely speaks the language of populism and it's a populist moment. he's the only one. not room, not obama, not ryan. remember what his most effective moment in the sarah palin debate was? it was the moment when he turned on her and brought up the experience of losing his wife, his first wife and son and infant daughter and what it was like to be raising his sons alone. it was a very personal moment. it was like exactly what you're talking about. instead of talking about his grandmother -- >> what was was the public policy implacation? >> she was claiming about the struggles of average working women. he said don't tell me about that. as a man i experienced that. he personalizes everything. he talks about his family more than any politician in america. he will -- if he doesn't talk about his mother, father, children, grandchildren, and grandparents tonight i will be shocked. >> you will hear ryan talk about his mom. sha he is in florida, currently
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on medicare. i think you will hear lots of family stories from ryan and biden. >> how does ryan normally talk? does he talk in that interesting -- he gave a good speech at the convention but it's almost -- >> a gatling gun. >> technocratic kind of talk. let's watch what david axelrod has previewed as the strategy for joe biden tonight. he did it on cbs "early today." >> right now the romney campaign is running away from some of their positions like unwanted stepchildren, but we're going to hold them to them and explain to the country exactly what the differences are here because the choice is very stark. >> what do you make of that? >> this is always -- it's interesting, this has always been their position. back in the spring i had a conversation with david plouffe where he said, you know, this choice between flip-flopper and hard right conservative is a false choice. >> have they meat up their mind yet? >> he said we're going to do both. when he tries to flip and flop
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we'll call him coreless but try to pin him back -- >> what's better -- >> extremism. >> that's what i said. everybody thinks politicians are politicians, and that they flip. they all believe that. >> that's their point. their point is you can say both. look, he's lying to you here. he's being coreless, being phony, but this is what he actually believes. it's exactly what axelrod is saying. the phrase someone used in the campaign back in the spring is we need to freeze him like a bug in amber. >> very wouldn't have the advantage with women right now were it not for trying to define him as an extremist for the last six months. >> let me get back to michael, what's the fair charge against the ryan/romney ticket? that they're flip-floppers or that they have true beliefs on the right that do have human costs? >> i think that the extreme argument is the one that resonates and pushes the envelope the most and i think the same is true for the romney/ryan ticket in reverse in talking about the extreme impact
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of the policies of this administration with 23 million unemployed, 1 in 6 in poverty, et cetera. so dwrur going to see both of them try to take those elements of the campaign. >> here is my key thing on romney r50i9 now. remember last month when governor romney was on "60 minutes" he said if you have a heart attack in your apartment, his phrase, the government provides health care by putting you in an ambulance and taking you to the er to get treated. well, now he's saying people don't die because they lack insurance. he told the columbus dispatch editorial board, quote, we don't have a setting across this doesn't where if you don't have issues he say, tough luck, you're going to die when you have your heart attack. no, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it's paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. we don't have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don't have insurance. you go to the er. is that the republican health care plan? >> no, chris. >> michael steele.
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>> chris, why do you even bother to go there. he's giving an example that we are a caring people, that we do not leave people on the street to die. >> is that the republican health care plan? >> come on, chris. it's not. >> what is it? >> it's making sure that people have affordable access to health care costs across the board, bottom line. and the way -- >> that's not what he said. >> that's exactly what he's said. he's talking about people being cared for who need that -- you just don't throw people on the street and you know that. come on. >> that's right. you don't. but his point is -- >> why are you asking -- is that obama's health care plan? no, his health care plan -- >> let me tell you the stark difference between the two. obama stuck his neck out, was called a socialist, communist because he came out -- >> he's bloated the government. >> romney's plan is we don't need obama care -- >> we don't need obama care. >> because we put people in the emergency room. >> what we need is less government to make decision making power --
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>> i'm going by what romney says. i'm going by what romney says repeatedly again and again, er. >> first of all, people do die every day in their apartment because they don't have health care. second of all, the whole point of what the -- the health care bill he passed in massachusetts was, this is a disaster, a system where people go and show up at the emergency room and pose incredibly intense costs on the system. that's why we need universal health care to keep that from having. >> prediction, nonpartisan assessme assessment, how many people think this debate will open up the vast differences twin the candidates and how many think it will get so complicated and wonky we will lose the audience. >> i think it will open up. >> i think the differences will be sparker. >> i think it will clear tonight, certainly more so than last week what romney and ryan are trying to do and what their plans are. >> final question, my contention is that joe biden has to win a
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clear victory tonight for it's a loss for the obama team. he needs a clear victory. >> i think he needs a clear victory, yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> we all agree, all four of us. thank you, john heilemann, michael stooem, and jonathan martin. biden better win. coming up in danville, kentucky, should democrats stop panicking. we have new maris polls and they show romney's post debate bump is much less than feared. the race has tightened. the advantage remains with the president. so far we'll talk to obama's deputy campaign manager stephanie cutter and kentucky governor to talk about the state of the race. plus -- some on the right deny facts and throw their dirty conspiracy theories out there. also, meet the other man running against paul ryan. the democrat trying to win
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ryan's congressional seat joins us later. let me finish tonight with that same old fashioned dirt we're seeing out here. this is "hardball," the place for politics, live from noisy danville, kentucky, the site of the vice presidential debate. >> i may not answer the questions the way you or the moderator want to speak but i am going to talk straight to the american people and let them know my track record also. altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ here's one story.
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. senator, i served with jack kennedy, i knew jack kennedy, jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> wow. welcome back to "hardball." live from center college in danville, kentucky, site of tonight's big vice presidential debate. for some democrats legitimate frustration with the president's performance at loost week's debate turned into something like panic this week as a number of national polls show the
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president in a very tight race, even losing in some cases to mitt romney. but in the key battleground states that will decide the election, the numbers tell a somewhat different story so far. according to the latest nbc news/"wall street journal"/maris polls in ohio, florida, and virginia, romney has improved his standing only slightly. in virginia, romney has a one-point advantage. last week the president was up two in that count. in florida the president is up by one. that's not very much. and in ohio the president is up by six points, still solid there. here might be the reason why. in all three states vast majorities say their minds were made up before the debate and that's the state of the race in those key states. are democrats right to be worried or not. stephanie cutter is deputy campaign manager in chief for president obama and steve beshear is the i will plus
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illustrious governor of the state of kentucky. how can you get elected in this state and mitch mcconnell is your senator. >> kentucky is a bits schizophrenic. we voted for carter and then voted for reagan and then voted for clinton then we voted for bush. we go back and forth on the national scene. >> what are you going to do this time? >> stephanie, thanks for joining us. stephanie cutter has been out there all the time. give me a sense, if you can, of the feeling of inside chicago, inside the headquarters. >> well, you know, chris, it's the same as it has been for months. we have always said and always believed that this is going to be a very close race all the way up until election day. the president wasn't happy with his debate performance. he is looking forward to the next debate to, you know, take romney on, clear up some of those facts that romney wasn't so clear on, and, you know,
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we're working hard. >> what do you think about -- governor, what do you think about romney's performance last week? i thought it was different than everything i have seen before. >> well, obviously the president wasn't on his game and romney was on his game. tonight i think you'll see two guys go at it and they'll both be invigorated and excited and i think you will see a different president the last two debates. >> stunning thing is the difference between the cosmetic and the performance values of romney which were excellent last week and what he continued to say, no matter what michael steele said a moment ago, he's wrong. the fact is the governor -- former governor of massachusetts' answer for the vast majority of people who don't have health insurance, if you're lucky an ambulance will arrive and take to you the er and if you're lucky you will be treated or you will sit there. it may be a chronic condition. the er is not right for everybody, certainly not right for people with chronic illnesses and yet he's satisfied with that horrible plot. >> yes. >> the most industrialized country in the world satisfied
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with that? why would a republican, a serious person like romney, say it's okay, throw them in the emergency room. >> i have a few points. one it's em blah mettic of that 47% comment he made. that half of the country, eats not fighting for them. in terms of his specific comments on health care, number one, tens of thousands of people lose their lives every year because they don't have insurance, because they don't get the care they need. number two, tens of thousands of people go into bankruptcy because they don't have insurance. and number three, what he's doing is encouraging people to use emergency rooms for their health care which is the entire free rider problem that obama care fixes and actually mitt romney's plan in massachusetts fixes. so there are several problems. >> there's a more drastic difference. you're the expert but i have to tell you, when i hear your people, including the president, he's our president as well, say the difference between the health care plans of the democrats and republicans on medicare is it will cost more if you have to go to vouchers, i'm tellinging you this, as a thoughtful person, no frickin 82-year-old person can go on a
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bus and buy health insurance. nobody is going to sell it to them. who is going to give grandma, 82 years old, i'll sell you health insurance. no one is going to sell it to them. he's condemning people to no health insurance. >> exactly. >> that's common sense. >> chris, this is an example of what romney has been doing now for a year. you know, he gets out -- >> playing peekaboo. >> he plays peekaboo, he changes his positions, and this thing when you get right down to it on november the 6th, this is going to be decided on trust factor. >> would you trust him for what he said to those rich people down in boca raton, florida, or what he says on national television? i trust what he said down there. >> listen, people understand that you can really find out what a guy really is and what he thinks when he gets behind closed doors with his buddies and nobody thinks anybody is listening, and he said what he thought then, and that's the real mitt romney, and i don't think people trust him to be
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president. >> two-state solution for the middle east when everybody was watching but when he's with a bunch of people who he thought was further right than him, he pandered. >> right, exactly. >> let me ask you about the way these things work. a lot of americans vote early now. >> right. >> i'll probably end up voting early because i have to be in fork for election night. and i'm thinking as we have these debates, it seems like some people might go right from watching a debate and go vote. >> it's possible. >> it's kind of tricky because you could have an off night and lose skads of voters. >> many of them have already voted. in the nbc ohio poll, 20% of them have already voted. we've been working hard -- >> do you like this poll of ours that says that two-thirds of the people who have voted already in ohio voted for obama? >> yes. >> i mean, do you think it's true? >> well -- >> do you think it's true. that's what i mean by like. >> it's your poll. >> those polls are kating 90-some percent of the people have already made up their mind. >> but that last handful seems
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ton hard to get. i keep waiting for them to make up their mind. i love "saturday night live" when they say what do you want to know? i want specifics, who are the two candidates. and i want to know exactly who is the current president of the united states and how long the term is because i'm against this lifetime thing. i mean, do you really think there are people that really -- let me ask you this, i'm feeding you this, stephanie, my friend. >> okay, good. >> you're pro-choice, that's obama. you're pro-life, that's the other guy. >> bailing out the auto industry, that's obama. >> fur you're for vouchers, the other guy is for medicare. that's nothing complicated. >> what are you doing later? >> it seems like a simple thing. a single woman who is concerned about her reproductive rights, you don't have to watch television to decide. i heard there was a swing among single women toward romney. they never talked about abortion
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rights. >> you have seen the back around fort with romney over the past couple days. he understands he has a women problem. en what did he do, he tried to soften his position on abortion. but what did his campaign do? they called tony perkins and said don't worry, don't worry -- >> who is the president, andrea saul or mitt romney. >> or tony perkins. >> in that campaign romney can say something on "60 minutes" he can say it on national television and sometime around 11:00 some fellow named eric fernstrum shows up and says he didn't mean that or andrea saul but 99% of the people heard the cosmetic pandering can the governor engaged in. i like that guy. and only in the midnight of the darkness when the etch-a-sketch goes on, they say he didn't really mean that.
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he doesn't believe in covering people with pre-existing conditions. you can't do this. >> in the end he doesn't get away it because on november 6th people are going to vote their gut. when you get right down to it, they're going to vote who do they trust the most? and they like obama, they may not agree with all of his policies, but they trust him that he's out there trying to fight for them. they don't -- >> we'll see, we'll see, we'll see. i'm still confused boo i this state. they got a guy like you and they have mitch mcconnell? thank you. kentucky governorer steve beshear, and stephanie cutter from the obama campaign. up next, more from danville, kentucky, and our coverage of the vice presidential debate. this is "hardball," the place for politics. >> i'm up in the senate most tuesdays when they're in session. first time i ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight. humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's,
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>> that was james stockton who we didn't appreciate at the time many of us but he was a p.o.w. and really served his country. it's been seven years in that hahn nou hilton. what are you and why are you here? >> i'm ab williams here supporting obama. >> tell me about your health care situation. >> a communist! >> we are an example of somebody -- my husband and i have six children. we have worked hard our whole lives and at the end of june my husband lost his job and for the first time in our whole lives we are without health insurance. >> okay. let's get back to this lady. who said communist down here? what did you mean by that? >> well, all you have to do is study it out, just study it out and you will see. you haven't done your homework, buddy. >> what do i need to study? >> he's a communist and those of us who are not voting for him know it. >> what do you mean by
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communist? >> you don't know? >> tell me. help me out here. >> you don't know? >> i just want to know what you mean. >> oh, i know what i mean. >> help us out. you're on national television. >> i know i'm on national television. >> tell me what you mean when you just accused a guy -- >> you just study it out. >> is he an american? >> oh, no. >> what country is he from? >> just because he was born here doesn't mean he thinks like this. he's a communist, buddy. >> all right. thank you. young man, you're going to be at the debate tonight. >> that's right. i'll be inside. >> tell me what you're looking for? whose side are you on. >> i'm absolutely on vice president biden's side. >> what are you hoping to see tonight? >> i'm hoping to see a recovery. we really do owe governor romney of a favor. >> when are you going to have your first race for congress? you look like a good candidate.
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anybody else here want to talk? >> vote for obama because nobody trusts romney. >> vote for obama because no one trusts romney and let obama be president for four more years. >> okay. what do you think about tonight's debate? it's quite an honor to have a big national debate here. >> i'm very happy for dr. rash and the center students and for barack obama and i'm looking forward to the debate this evening. >> well, let me ask you, sir, is obama a communist? >> oh, no, he's not a communist. in fact, he saved capitalism when he helped out our auto industry. we wouldn't have the jobs for him except for his diligence in helping us out. >> well said. let me get another person. okay. this guy has been here all night. what do you think about tonight's debate who wants to talk? >> i will. i can't wait. it's my school on national television hosting the vice
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presidential debate. i couldn't be more proud. >> well, thank you. anybody else? >> right here! right here! >> hi, i'm kelsey johnson a and i'm voting for mitt romney. you should, too. you should, too. >> thank you. >> go ryan. >> thank you very much. you look great. what do you think? >> president obama has helped create 5 million jobs in the last 3 1/2 years. >> okay. thank you very much. we'll be right back with more "hardball." tonight the big vice presidential debate, we'll be covering it starting in a minute. we'll be right back.
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i'm hampton pearson with your cnbc market wrap. early gains evaporate leaving
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the dow down 18, the s&p ends flat, the nasdaq down 2 points. weekly jobless claims slid by 30,000, their lowest level since february 2008. but there were some quirks associated with the report which led today's early rally to fizzle. and apple shares lost more than 12 bucks each after a legal battle setback in its battle with samsung over the galaxy nexus smartphone. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." can i call you joe? >> you can call me joe. >> thanks. >> welcome back to "hardball" and our live coverage of the vice presidential debate tonight here in danville, kentucky, centre college. economic numbers showing weekly jobless claims came down today and they just bolstered friday's
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promising unemployment numbers and put the damper on those conspiracy theorists out there saying these chicago guys, meaning obama's campaign people, tinkered with the numbers. here is what today's numbers show. weekly jobs claims are at 339,000, that's down 30,000, the lowest number since february of 2008. there's been more twittering on twitter about whether these numbers are kosher or not. there's actually still a conspiracy theory afoot that they were manipulated. these numbers are both good and legitimate, i can tell you that. joining me "washington post" pulitzer prize winning columnist, msnbc political analyst eugene robinson and alex wagner. i want to start with you, alex. i have done some work on this. all those years we have been watching bls come out with the numbers and they haven impenetrable. richard nixon was dieing to get control of that agency and he couldn't do it. larry summers said republicans and democrats on both sides of the aisles have been dying for years to get to the bls and
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reduce their annual adjustments in the consumer price index because they'd like to reduce the amount of payments given to beneficiaries for programs like social security. in other words, every effort has been out there to try to influence that agency and it stood solid and honest and true to itself and thank god it was proven again true today with the job numbers. what do you make of the con spour si nuts who keep playing with the numbers and keep saying you can't trust any number, anything, including birth certificates? >> well, i mean, it's an increasingly disturbing trend of the republican party being a party not of facts and figures and science but sort of whims. this talk has been surrounding the fed ation well. remember rick perry talking about kneecapping ben bernanke during the primaries. very recent history, not but like ten days ago republicans were up in arms about polling that showed president obama ahead in swing states. the minute those polls changed, the minute the pew polls changed and showed the race tightening,
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they're calling foul on democrats that say the poll numbers are inaccurate. it's a back and forth and sort of a radical swing against institutions in general, and, you know, chuck todd talked about this this sunday on "meet the press." it's part of a larger narrative of institutional failure and the ramifications of it are fairly dire. once you no longer have faith in not just congress but the federal reserve, the bureau of labor statistics, you get a populace that is less and less engaged in the democratic process. you get a lowering of standards, of public servants, and you get an increasingly lazy and simplistic narrative about what it means to govern in this country. >> i know. the conspiracy theories about president obama have been wild and persistent, first the big lie the president wasn't born in this country, that his birth certificate was a fake. then the theory that says the president's health care reform was part of a socialist plot and
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he was trying to shore up his base. last week's conspiracy whopper that the unemployment numbers had been monkeyed with. that was the wonderful wording of donald trump. no surprise there. gene, this goes on. it's not fair to say it's entirely a right wing thing because we had trutherism back when they said george w. was with a pump pump blowing up the world trade center. it seems that the right is more comfortable with. flor identify was put in the water to control our minds. >> the truther crowd, that was pure fringe. on the right there are more mainstream folks who sometimes push these conspiracy theories, and they don't necessarily believe them. they push them. they push them in a way to destroy or demolish or sort of muddy up facts they don't like. and so if a fact comes along they like, then it's golden. it's platonic, it can't be challenged. >> there's not a danger of
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so-called media balance? you say there are those who believe in the 7.8% number and then there are those who don't. >> exactly. you undermine and question facts that are inconvenient, and that's been done again and again and that's what's happening again with the unemployment numbers. >> let's look at my interview with jack welch. i have always liked jack welch, used to be our ultimate boss, but i think he didn't stick to his original argument that there was manipulation of these numbers. he basically said at the end of the interview he thought there was coincidences, there's questions to be raised. he may change his view but that's where it was. let's see how it evolved in that few minutes. >> it just seems somewhat coincidental that the month before the election the numbers go one tenth of a point below where they were when the president started, although i don't see anything in the economy that says these surges are true. >> but here you put out the word here, unbelievable jobs nments, fair enough, these chicago guys will do anything so they change
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the numbers. what evidence do you have that they got to the bls? that the chicago guys got to the bureau of labor statistics and jimmied these numbers by 0.3% as you put it? >> i6 no evidence to prove that. i just raise the question. >> well, alex, now -- admit he's an honest guy about that, he said there's no evidence. here is the question, now we do have evidence based upon the reports today that the jobs numbers are getting better, the best they've been since the beginning of the administration. that seems to back up entirely what the report was about the reduction from 8.1 to 7.8 on friday. >> of course. but did you hear mitt romney say the number 7.8 at all? in fact, the day those numbers came out, he put out his own math which was it's actually closer to 11%. this party sun is unwilling to admit these numbers are right because they see it as political gain for the president. it's a testament to where this party is at. these are unemployment figures
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for the country. this is a party that should be rooting for the american worker just like democrats are rooting for the american worker. and once you are no longer able to acknowledge the truth because it hurts you 34ri8ly, i mean, what does that say about the gop? >> you know what it tells me? they're like the woman who spoke a few minutes who said the president is a communist. it's like people trying to fight their way out of a nightmare. you woke up in the middle of the night and you're having a horrible nightmare and you try to break out of it. to them it's a nightmare obama is president of the united states. they have to break out because he's a communist, e not born here. it's crazy. >> there are therapists i could introduce them. >> and they get to go on television like jack and certainly trump. i would love to see trump under sodium pentothal, if he really does believe this nonsense or has he talked himself into it. >> that might be a little extreme even for this show. >> i think alex's point is good. when we get to the point where we can't all cheer good numbers,
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gee, things are getting better, that says something about how bitterly divided the country is. >> by the way, is this a generational thing do you think, alex? do you think younger people are more suspicious of institutions? >> i think generally -- >> i used to watch the oliver stone movies and it would drive me crazy. they would say lbj, nixon, everybody killed kennedy and people with baseball caps sitting there eating it up. i said you can't believe oliver stone. it's not true. >> i think there's a healthy amount of suspicion about government and institutions but keep in mind that the guys floating all this craziness are old white guys on twitter, donald trump, jack welsh -- >> that's why i like you. >> the younger generation has washed its hands of some of the crazier stuff. >> i like it when you do this. you threw it right back at me. old white guys on twitter. take that jack welch, you billion your. thank you, ewe yen robinson and alex wagner.
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up next we'll speak to the man running against jack ryan in wisconsin. he is running for re-election in congress should that other thing not work out. this is "hardball," the place for politics live from danville, kentucky, for the vice presidential debate. >> we added up the killed and wounded and democrat wars in this century would be 1.6 million marns, enough to fill the city of detroit. >> i think senator dole has richly earned his reputation as a hatchet man tonight by implying and stating that world war ii and the korean war were democratic wars. ♪
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. i, too, want to avoid any personal attacks. i promise not to bring up your singing. so -- >> i promise not to sing. >> welcome back to "hardball" live from danville, kentucky, for the vice presidential debate. i don't feel like talking about dick cheney. anyway, tonight congressman paul ryan faces off against vice president joe biden, but biden is not the only democrat running against ryan right now. believe it or not, ryan is running for re-election just to cover his bets. rob zerban is challenging the republican vp nominee in his home state of wisconsin right now, even outraised ryan in the last fund-raising quarter. can he gain enough ground to potentially put the gop's number two guy out of a job? with me is candidate bob zerban. rob, do you think it's right for a guy to run for two offices at the same time?
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vice president and congress? supposed wins both? what happens to the decision of the voters? >> i don't think he's going to win both. in fact, i think he's going to lose twice at the top of the ticket and the congressional race. you know, it wasn't the right fit for me. i was a county board supervisor and when i got into the congressional race i supervisor. >> you don't get to debate this guy. biden does. what do you think biden can tell you about the debate against ryan, your guy, tonight? >> i'm not going to give the vice president any advice on how to debate but i do feel a special kinship and i think the president needs to come out and go after paul ryan and his failed -- his horribly destructive budget that is out of touch with reality. >> does he believe in this personhood thing? >> he does. >> that you get the rights of property -- 14 amendment rights to property at the moment of conception? what could that possibly mean? liberty and property. >> you know, it's a crazy
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ideological response. we've seen what his positions are. >> it means he wants to outlaw abortion and criminalize it. if you're aborted, that's murder under the law. does he know what he's doing? >> i don't think so. >> under the law. >> this is why he's got such an ideological bend. look at his budget. look at him try to privatize medicare. >> does he think anyone in their 70s and 80s can even shop? a lot of people can't even get around in their 70s and 80s. go out and shop for a health care policy? who would give them a health care policy? by the time you get near the end, you definitely have a lot of health problems. why would anybody ensure you? >> we can't have people going to congress and proposing crazy
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ideas. people have been, be you know -- they have never seen this side of paul ryan. they have never seen these extreme positions. >> he wouldn't even join -- he's not saving money by hurting poor people, by cutting back on medicare and those programs. >> uh-huh. >> he doesn't take that money and reduce the debt with it. he uses that savings to get rid of the capital gains stack, this is all for the rich people. >> right. >> is he more of an elitist? >> i think he's fiscally responsible. he supported two wars -- >> why does he do that? >> he's got the wrong ideas. he's trying to make sure people like himself, mitt romney and the 1 percenters can leave the country behind. >> why do these people vote for
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him? >> you know, for whatever reason, paul ryan has gotten a pass in the past. i outraised him by over $2 million. we're taking the fight to him, particularly in wisconsin. we know what is at stake. we know how bad you can be hurt by an ideological or scott ryan. >> would you like to debate him? any chance you'd debate him in your congressional race? >> i would love to debate him. he needs to come back and discuss these topics with the people who gave him an opportunity to serve. serving the first congressional district should not be a consolation prize. to serve the first constituents, it would be the greatest honor of my life. >> who do you think his loyal is towards? his own convention or romney? >> i'm sorry? >> who is he loyal to? can you separate the two? choose, right now, are you an
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idealog or are you on romney's team? because they are different. >> tonight i think he's going to say, i'm with romney. >> he wants to be president one day. >> the race is going to be the lose of the ticket. >> rod zerban. when we return, let me continue finish with old fashion return. we're love from kentucky, the site of the vice presidential debate. and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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let me finish tonight with dirt. old fashion dirt. if up can't beat someone cleanly, spread the dirt. does anyone believe this is anything but a weapon? dirt is not a reason to vote for or against a candidate. no, the person slinging the dirt already has his reason. exhibit a, donald trump. does anybody believe that donald trump was ready to vote for president obama before he came up with the president being an illegal immigrant, an elaborate scream to have her son born in africa so he could some day get elected the president of the united states? no. trump declared war on the president for his own personal
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reasons and then went to work on the birther movement. following some villain in batman. you know, the joker. decide they didn't like president obama last friday between 8:30 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. and when he, jack welch tweeted his attack on it? don't bet on it. these people are out there pushing birtherism because they want to throw some dirt on the guy, they want to hurt him. it's not good for our politics, not good for our country. it's just wrong and people with brains and consciousness know that it is. i'll be back in one hour for another live
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